Myths Facts

The truth about paper

Paper recycling saves trees
Wood for paper is grown in plantations that are being continually regenerated and replanted

Paper recycling reduces landfill volume and the emissions released

Paper is manufactured with cellulose fibre from plantations of fast growth species used for that purpose and that otherwise would not exist, so it is not true that trees are saved by recycling paper.

Paper recycling does allow the volume in landfills and the emissions they produce to be reduced.

Spain recycles 5.1 million tonnes of used paper per annum

That amounts to a saving on landfill volume equivalent to 50 major football stadiums such as the Bernabéu or the Camp Nou filled right to the top.

ASPAPEL: Statistical Report 2013

One must only use recycled paper: only recycled paper is ecological
Virgin and recycled fibre are the same fibre at two moments of their life cycle

Thanks to recycling, the useful life of wood fibre is optimised

Cellulose fibre from wood, which is a natural, renewable resource, is the fundamental raw material to manufacture paper.

When that cellulose fibre is used for the first time to manufacture paper, it is called virgin fibre. When that same cellulose fibre is reused successive times, it is called recycled fibre.

That cycle of uses requires a certain amount of virgin fibre to be added to remain in operation:

  • The fibre gradually deteriorates through successive uses (it may be recycled up to approximately eight times).
  • There are certain types of paper used for specific purposes that have certain technical characteristics only virgin fibre provides, due to which virgin fibre is preferably used for such paper.

The best contribution the citizen may make to responsible paper consumption is to collaborate in the recycling process, separating used paper from other waste and depositing it in the blue bin.

ASPAPEL: Sustainability Report

Very little paper is recycled in Spain
The Spanish paper industry is the second largest recycler in Europe

We collect more than 70% of the paper and board we consume for recycling

In 2013 Spain collected: 4.3 million tonnes of paper for recycling.

We collect more than 70% of the paper we consume

ASPAPEL: Statistical Report 2013

The growth of paper collection
1990 – 1.7 million tonnes
2000 – 3.3 million tonnes
2013 – 4.3 million tonnes. Facts: ASPAPEL
The Spanish paper industry is the European leader in recycling: for every 10 kilos of paper
manufactured in Spain, 8.3 kilos of used paper are used as raw material. Its factories recycle 5.1 million tonnes of used paper per annum, which makes us the second larger recycler in Europe, just behind Germany. Facts: ASPAPEL, CEPI

The Spanish paper industry guarantees recycling of all the used paper collected in Spain.

Recycling paper saves trees.
Paper wood comes from plantations dedicated exclusively to the manufacture of paper and would not exist otherwise.

The paper macro-sector as a forest based bio-industry, is the key sector of the new bio-economy

Bio-industries such as paper making from natural, renewable raw materials, that manufacture recyclable products with a smaller carbon footprint, are the industries of the future.

Europe  -and  Spain  in  particular-  have  good  weather  conditions  to  grow  wood  and  fallow  areas available due to abandonment of agricultural and husbandry tasks, all along with major development of the paper collection and recycling systems (the urban forest).

As a bio-industry, the paper macro-sector is taking a position as the key sector of the new low-carbon bio-economy, depending on efficient use of renewable, recyclable resources, to manufacture natural products with a large added value.

In the near future -one that work is already being carried out on- the factories in the paper chain shall be wood and recycled fibre based bio-refineries that, making highly efficient use of their raw materials, shall manufacture cellulose, paper and board, bioenergy and biofuels, biocomposites and a whole series of new forestry fibre based products.

CEPI-ASPAPEL Paper invents the future 2013